Statement from the Board Regarding Lawsuit Filed to Prohibit the SRO from Closing Schools

In an effort to block the state’s attempt to close schools, the Detroit Public Schools Community District has filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and a motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief against the State School Reform Office with the State of Michigan Court of Claims.

The Complaint outlines the grounds for its action including the following:

  • The SRO failed to publish a valid annual list of the lowest achieving 5 percent of schools in the state, as a precedent for closure.
  • Schools must be on the closure list for 3 years. The new district has not been in operation for three years, so its schools do not qualify for closure.
  • The SRO was given powers that are ill-defined, completely open-ended and, subject to arbitrary enforcement through a legislative act that may have been a constitutional violation.

“As a board, we are looking at several strategies to ensure our students have access to high-quality schools in every neighborhood. These strategies include a robust, research-based improvement plan, potential changes in the current legislation, partnering with the MDE, and looking at the capacity footprint of the district. This litigation is one of the strategies available to us,” said Iris Taylor, board president.

“We firmly believe DPSCD is entitled to operate schools for at least three years without the threat of closure or other SRO intervention. This issue must be resolved because our parents and children deserve stability. We do not want to be in this same space again next year. We cannot be expected to grow and improve if the threat of closure continuously looms over us. Amid our challenges, we are ever mindful that our goal is to equip and prepare our children for bright futures.”

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